I’ve previously talked about using Facebook and Twitter in Science Communication, but how about in teaching? I’ve decided to give it a go this year. I started by setting up a teaching page. Setting up a page on Facebook is straightforward, and in order to get an official url assigned you need to get 25 people to ‘like’ the page. So, once you have the page set up, what do you do with it? This is what I plan to do:
(i) provide links to my teaching material hosted on my own website, as opposed to the University’s official VLE. The material will be there on the VLE as well, but it will be easier to download from my site, and moreover, will be available to all, not just those registered for the module (which is an issue with the VLE).
(ii) encourage students to post questions/discussions on the page, which I can then respond to. I know that VLEs offer something like this, but I would suggest that Facebook is easier to use! This may save answering lots of e-mails about specific questions; they can be answered in one go.
The material that I will post links to will be in non-editable PDF format; native versions of documents (PowerPoint and Word) will be available, if appropriate, on the VLE. Also, any material on selective release, like lecture recordings, will only be available from the VLE.
I’m hoping this venture will be useful for the students, but only time will tell. I’ll hope to provide a progress report in about week 7 of the semester!